There’s a flurry of cricket action involving South African starting on Thursday, with the start of the three ODI matches against Pakistan. That will be followed by four T20s against the same opponents, getting a line through where they stand ahead of the T20 World Cup later this year.
The two squads that South Africa will send out however are vastly different in look. If anything, the ODI squad looks the stronger, but five players from that unit are being released at the end of the series to cash in on their millions.
That’s quite ironic because the five ODI players – Kagiso Rabada, Quinton de Kock, Anrich Nortje, Lungu Ngidi and David Miller – are actually being relreased to play T20 cricket in their pivate capacity.
There they will join the likes of Chris Morris, who is the most expensive foreign player to have featured in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL).
In the 2021 auction, the Rajasthan Royals sign him for INR 16.25 crore (about R32-million). That’s for around 8 weeks.
“Look, I’ll be the first person to say that my breath was taken away,” Morris said. “I didn’t expect to first of all be bought for that much and second of all for so many teams to want to employ my services. It’s definitely a humbling feeling … and like I said it took my breath away for that to happen and for teams to keep going for me like that blew my mind,” he said in a virtual media conference on Tuesday.
“It’s natural to have a little bit of added pressure when something like that has happened at the auction,” he said. “I would be lying if I said there wasn’t any pressure. But, fortunately enough, in the past I have come in to the tournament with quite a big price tag on my head, so at the end of the day, you got to perform on the field, no matter what your price tag is. So, there is a little bit of added pressure, but the pressure that you get from a price tag doesn’t affect you on a cricket field at the end of the day.”
Morris isn’t part of the Proteas squad that plays the three ODIs against Pakistan, starting Thursday, with the hosts starting favourites to beat their opponents on the bouncier tracks in South Africa, rather than the lower, slower ones of the sub-continent.
2 April: vs Pakistan (Centurion)
4 April: vs Pakistan (Johannesburg)
7 April: vs Pakistan (Centurion)
10 April: vs Pakistan (Johannesburg)
12 April: vs Pakistan (Johannesburg)
14 April vs Pakistan (Centurion)
16 April: vs Pakistan (Centurion)
Temba Bavuma (captain), Quinton de Kock (wkt), Beuran Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Janneman Malan, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jon-Jon Smuts, Rassie van der Dussen, Junior Dala, Lutho Sipamla, Wiaan Mulder, Sisanda Magala, Kyle Verreynne, Daryn Dupavillon, Lizaad Williams
Temba Bavuma (captain), Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Klaasen, George Linde, Van der Dussen, Malan, Magala, Dwaine Pretorius, Shamsi, Sipamla, Kyle Verreynne (wkt), Pite van Biljon, Migael Pretorius, Williams, Wihan Lubbe